For a company that started manufacturing smartphones just five years ago, Huawei has astonished industry watchers with its amazing growth and achievements. Today, it is among the Top 3 smartphone brands in the world, and has for three years running been listed among the 100 most admirable brands in the world. In this interview, the Managing Director, Devices Huawei Technologies Co. Nigeria Ltd, Leo Jiang, speaks with Raheem Akingbolu on the brand’s strength and aspirations for Nigeria and its global market.
What is your take on the outlook of the Nigerian economy?
Presently, one of the major attractions of the Nigerian economy to global investors to my mind is the stability that has been bestowed on it by the sustenance of democratic governance. International businesses and investors want to flow with stable policies. For a country that endured long spell of military intervention in governance from independence in 1960 with civil rule lasting barely six years from that date to find herself under unbroken civil leadership since 1999 is remarkable. Civil rule promises stability and so long as that is guaranteed, global investors would be attracted. And so long as leading investors from across the world are attracted to any economy, it will continue to witness growth.
Tell us a bit about Huawei?
Huawei started in 1987 in Shenzhen, China andwe have 29 years of expertise in the telecom industry. And we are currently the leading ICT equipment, service, and terminal devices provider in the world.
Huawei comprises of various arms and consumer business is an arm of Huawei technologies that focuses on smartphones and mobile devices in general.
The society is becoming largely digitized and we wanted to be at the forefront of providing the cutting key, innovative technologies and fashion, premium mobile devices to enrich human lives.
Today the brand is the global top 3 smartphone manufacturer in the world. Our products and services are available in more than 170 countries, and used by over one-third of the world’s population, and more and more people are recognising the company for producing innovative, fashionable and premium smartphones.
What recent achievements has the brand recorded that you are most proud of?
We are currently one of the world’s leading smartphone manufacturers, with revenue soaring over 70%in the past years. We are growing so fast.
In 2014, Huawei became the first brand from China to earn a place on Interbrand’s Top 100 Best Global Brands list, ranking number 94. Huawei was once again included on the list in October 2015, with its ranking moving up to 88, and this year, it moved up to number 72. And we have celebrated shipping the 9 millionth P9/P9 Plus launched globally early 2016 with our historic partnership with Leica. We are extremely proud of these achievements.
In the area of positioning, what would you say separates Huawei smartphones from other competing brands?
The brand focuses on customer-centric innovation, the lifeblood of all technology companies. This explains why we are different from others. Our strategy involves a strong focus on Product, Brand, Channels and Partners. We believe that Solid research and development (R&D) is the foundation of innovation in reliable, premium quality products. In the past 10 years, the company has continuously invested over 10% of its annual income into R&D spending and we have built over 16 R&D centers and 28 Joint Innovation Centers globally.
More than 45% of Huawei’s employees work in R&D, and more than 50% of them come from different parts of the world.
In making our products, we do not compromise on quality. All of our smartphones go through rigorous quality testing processes before they are released into the market, thus giving our customers the assurance that the Huawei smartphone is capable to serve them in different climatic conditions.
Our innovative and uncompromising standards have led us to deliver fantastic products with stylish designs and quality that stands the test of time, and our products have the least failure rate here in Nigeria and globally.
Who are Huawei smartphones made for?
Let me start by declaring that our products are for everyone. The product range is very diverse and so we have ensured that all our customers will find a product that meets their needs and suits their lifestyle. There should be no misconception about our phones or who they are meant for. Our Research and Development team are constantly thinking of new ways to improve customers’ experiences with our products.
So we cater to everyone. Huawei is a Chinese origin but also a successful global citizen.
Looking at the brand’s smart phone models, how many Huawei phones are currently in the Nigerian market?
Well, we have several of them like the Y series, the G- series, the P –Series, Mate series and the Media pads T.1.
The company recently launched some of its newY series in the Nigerian market. What has the consumer responses been like?
Consumer response has been good so far. Our aim is to pass a message across that no matter the smartphone product, whether it is entry level, mid-range, or high-end, all our smartphones deliver amazing premium experiences to our users.
The newly launched Y series has a good mix of the different ranges.
The Y6II has a Classic 3D crossed stripes design and a distinctive chic body finish. It has classic 5.5 inch high resolution display, provides users with an extremely clear and comfortable experience. The camera caters to the needs of photo lovers and beauty enthusiasts alike as it takes professional-quality photos with its 13-megapixel BSI rear-facing camera and a 2.0 aperture. The Y6II also has a Make-up mode with beautification technology that allows users to enhance images with various makeup styles and preview the effects in real time with a single touch.
The Y5II comes equipped with a world-class camera with an 81 degree wide angle lens ensuring crystal clear professional images. The Easy Key function puts an end to endless clicks to get things done.
On the other hand, the Y3II and Y3 Lite will attract young users who carry out activities on their smartphones requiring speed, and also want to curate exciting moments without missing a beat. Both Y3II and Y3 Lite smartphones have Dual Sim functionality and an impressive battery strength that enables longer days of talk and standby time.
The Huawei Y3Lite is supported by one of the world’s fastest 3G networks, the 3G HPSA+ which makes surfing the internet enjoyable and very fast.
Our Y Series range of devices are designed to suit the lifestyle of the young and vibrant, as well as professionals on the move.
With the Y series smartphones, we have set a new standard of functionality that every entry level phoneswill strive to meet.”
Are there plans to launch any other Huawei products soon?
Huawei Mate 9 will be available in Nigeriavery soon and following that the possibilities are endless. We are always looking forward to bringing new innovation to the Nigerian market and delivering a great user experience to our consumers.
What is the end goal for Huawei in terms of the Nigeria and global market?
We have a very clear goal – to become the No. 1 Android Smartphone Brand in Nigeria, the global top 2 smartphone brand by 2018 and the global No. 1 by 2021, and theglobal success of the P9 proves this is a realistic goal.